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Tour the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory in these 15 photos

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory Michelle and Chris Gerard

Winter is coming, friends, and one of our favorite places to escape is Belle Isle's Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory. Not only is it one of the most underrated gems in the area, but it’s also the oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States. We like to visit when we need either a break from the city, some time around nature, or deep breaths.

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory Michelle & Chris Gerard

The conservatory was designed by Albert Kahn, as was the neighboring aquarium. The two buildings opened in 1904 and were originally joined, so a visitor didn’t need to leave one to go to the other. The original wood frames were replaced by steel in 1949, and the building is full of light and fresh air.

The conservatory has five sections - the Tropical House, the Palm House, the Cactus House, the Fernery, and the Show House. Our photographers, Michelle and Chris Gerard, have taken pictures of the conservatory throughout the years. Behold! 15 photos to give you a break from your day.


It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, 10am-5pm.